NHL Cheap Shots: Three of the Most Infamous Moments

Tom Wilson sucks. What he did to Brandon Carlo last night needs to result in a LENGTHY suspension. Wilson finds himself in a very familiar situation, standing in front of the NHL’s safety committee in order to determine his fate. He should be facing a long suspension especially because of his repeat offender status. With the exception of the 2019-2020 season and his rookie season, Tom Wilson has ranked in the top 4 in every other season of his career. That is not good. He has drawn criticism many times throughout his career and including during the Stanley Cup Finals and the Golden Knights.

Wilson’s egregious hit last night got me thinking about some other cheap shots we have seen in the NHL. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but what just comes to my mind first.

NOTE: Some of these videos can be hard to watch so please skip over them as necessary.

Chris Simon against Ryan Hollweg

Ryan Hollweg was always a fun player to watch with the Rangers back in 2007. He wasn’t offensively talented, but he loved to throw his body around. In a March game against the Islanders in 2007, Hollweg nailed Islander Chris Simon to the boards with a clean check. Simon took offense to the hit and decided he wanted to play baseball with Hollweg. Simon took a two handed baseball swing with his stick to Hollweg’s neck area. As a result, he faced a 25 game suspension for his attack on Hollweg. Hollweg did not miss a game after the incident as he practiced the next day and suited up against the Penguins in the Rangers next game.

Donald Brashear against Blair Betts

When I think of an NHL goon, the first player I think of is Donald Brashear. Brashear finished his career with 2634 penalty minutes, good for 15th all-time. There are two incidents that come to mind when I think of Donald Brashear. First, I think of the brawl he started against the Senators in 2004 when he was with the Flyers. Second, I think of his cheap shot on Ranger Blair Betts during game 6 of 2009 Eastern conference Quarterfinals. Brashear got hit by Aaron Voros (didn’t even get knocked down, it was more like a little shove) and Brashear decided to go hunting. He locked on the first Ranger he saw and decided to elbow him in the head. The puck was no near Betts and he was not paying attention. Rangers defenseman Paul Mara came to Betts’s defense, as did the rest of the Rangers on the ice.

What makes matters worse is Brashear was not penalized for the hit itself. He was only penalized for the incident with Mara after the play.

Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore

This is one of the most infamous moments in NHL history. Todd Bertuzzi decided to play the role of vigilante on Steve Moore after Moore hit Canucks captain, Marcus Naslund as few games earlier. What makes this incident extra disturbing is how premeditated it was. You can clearly see Bertuzzi stalking Moore on the ice until he sucker punched him from behind. Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of the season and playoffs. In addition, Bertuzzi was banned from playing in Europe during the lockout the following season.

Moore sought legal action against Bertuzzi as well. Bertuzzi was formally charged with assault causing bodily harm and faced up to 1 1/2 years in prison. Bertuzzi plead guilty to the charge and arranged a plea bargain with the prosecutors. As a result, he faced 80 hours of community service and one year probation. Moore’s career was cut short because of this incident despite multiple years of trying to make a comeback.

Final Thoughts

Incidents like these and players like Tom Wilson have no place in the NHL. The Department of Player Safety needs to step up and do the right thing when it comes to Wilson. This behavior cannot be excused and he cannot be hit with a mere slap on the wrist. Wilson is a danger to the other players on the ice and his suspension should be a reflection of that.

-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)

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